ESSA elects new chairman

International betting integrity body ESSA has elected a GVC Holdings’ Heike Mayer as chairperson, succeeding Mike O’Kane, local media reports.

Mayer is currently responsible for public and regulatory affairs at GVC and also serves as vice-chair of ESSA. O’Kane has held the position as ESSA chair since 2012.

“I’d like to thank Mike for all of his hard work over the last five years; he has done a great job in repositioning the association and has been an influential and vocal advocate of ESSA members and our sector in general,” said Mayer.

“There are a number of key issues and opportunities facing the industry going forward, and I will be working with my board colleagues to deliver and implement a strategy that meets those challenges and maintains the strong working relationships that ESSA has built.”

The ESSA board has also expanded, with the addition of Betway’s Jon Russell and David Foster of Paddy Power Betfair.

“The expansion of the board reflects a desire to ensure that we are best placed to represent the association’s increasing membership and to meet the ongoing challenges facing the sports betting sector,” said ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali.